By Pr. Deb Stehlin
Yesterday I spent time with one of our synod’s pastors, who’s dealing with brain cancer. The level of her suffering is difficult for me to describe. Each time I visit, I read her the gospel for the upcoming Sunday. Almost before I get to the end, she responds, “Here’s how I’d preach that, …” And then she rocks my world with a word that’s deeply true. She doesn’t spend hours wrestling a text to the ground before it yields a word. It just comes to her as gift.
There’s something in her.
A few weeks ago, another of our synod’s pastors invited me to be present for a baptism. He’s been tending to a group of immigrant Christians in St. Cloud, and God has added one more disciple to the mix.
As he walked down to the river with the woman to be baptized, his face just glowed. He sang with the crowd, and pumped his fist in the air for punctuation. This man of God is a born evangelist; he has the gift of sharing the good news in a way that someone who’s never heard it before can receive it and become so full of joy at the discovery that they want to leave an old life behind for something new with Jesus.
There’s something in him.
“Another of our pastors filled a van full of brave folks and drove to Arizona to witness what’s happening at the border regarding the separation of families.”
Another of our pastors filled a van full of brave folks and drove to Arizona to witness what’s happening at the border regarding the separation of families. She knows the pain of being separated from a child, after her son died. She knows the soul of our nation is at stake and can’t not be there to bear witness to this atrocity.
There’s something in her.
WHAT’S IN YOU? HOW do you tend to your inner life? How does that make a difference in how you show up in the world and share your gift?
We’re going to talk about that at Bishop’s Theological Conference – an annual gathering of the synod’s rostered ministers – with former Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson at the end of September. We’ll explore the personal dimensions of ministry – the inner work we are called to do, for the sake of the public dimension of ministry – our work of proclamation, service, and prophetic engagement.
“I hope you can take a moment to think about tending to your inner life with God for the sake of using your gift for the life of the world.”
Whether or not you are invited to this event for pastors and deacons, I hope you can take a moment to think about tending to your inner life with God for the sake of using your gift for the life of the world. As my spiritual director describes it, I hope you can live each day “in the divine flow.”